Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Fostering Future Leadership

BOND: One last question — how can we foster leadership in the future? How can we make sure that we have the kind of leadership required in years yet to come?

RANGEL: We have to find ways to come together. The church has to do it. The social groups have to do it. The politicians have to do it to remind ourselves in no uncertain way that whether you’re the chairman of the board, the Chairman of Ways & Means, no matter what you do in this country, that race is a negative factor and that the only way that you can make a contribution to yourself, your family, and the community is to make certain that other communities really respect you and the only way that you can get this respect is by being organized and being able to help somebody or to hurt somebody or to be at that table and deal in this thing with mutual respect.

I don’t — I know I will not see the day that the color is going to be ignored because it’s the right thing to do. True, people who get to know each other individually can easily do it and that’s why I’m a big supporter of the Foreign Service because these people, they go overseas and they forget their color and start dealing with hearts and minds and how to improve the world, but I think we have to always constantly remind ourselves that this country’s not going to let us forget our color. We shouldn’t want to forget our color and I think that Marcus Garvey and others that reminded us that, hey, it’s a beautiful color and we’ve just got to get other people to appreciate it and I think it’ll work out. In my lifetime, I doubt it.

BOND: Garvey said, "You know, the world has made being black a crime. I intend to make it a virtue." And you make it a virtue. Thank you, Charlie Rangel.

RANGEL: It’s exciting. Thank you, Julian.

BOND: We appreciate it.